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The Power of Resonant Breathing

The Power of Resonant Breathing

Introduction

Today, we're going to delve into the fascinating world of resonant breathing and its potential impact on the wellbeing of individuals grappling with Long COVID. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let's explore this intriguing topic together.

Unraveling Long COVID and Autonomic Dysfunction

Alright, before we jump into the nitty-gritty of resonant breathing, let's first understand what Long COVID is all about. Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is a condition that affects a significant portion of individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. It's characterized by a myriad of persistent and debilitating symptoms such as post-exertional malaise, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and more. Interestingly, many of these symptoms bear a striking resemblance to those observed in dysautonomia, which involves dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system.

The Role of Resonant Breathing

Now, here's where resonant breathing steps into the spotlight. Resonant breathing exercises offer a potential avenue for improving autonomic function with minimal exertion. Unlike traditional autonomic rehabilitation approaches, resonant breathing entails a less strenuous form of exercise, which could be particularly beneficial for individuals with Long COVID who are susceptible to post-exertional malaise.

Resonant breathing exercises are designed to regulate the autonomic nervous system activity, potentially alleviating symptoms associated with autonomic dysfunction. These exercises have been shown to enhance homeostatic control of blood pressure and heart rate, alongside increasing parasympathetic activation. This physiological mechanism could counterbalance the abnormally increased sympathetic nervous system activity often observed in individuals with Long COVID.

The Study: Unveiling the Impact

So, how exactly does resonant breathing fare in the realm of Long COVID recovery? A retrospective analysis of de-identified data from individuals with Long COVID participating in the Meo Health resonant breathing program shed light on its impact. The program, which spanned from September 2020 to November 2021, involved participants completing baseline and follow-up surveys to assess the changes in their symptoms and wellbeing.

The results were quite compelling. The data revealed that most measures of symptoms and wellbeing exhibited improvement at follow-up. Participants reported significant enhancements in their sense of wellness, ability to focus, ability to breathe, stress management, and sleep quality. Moreover, an overwhelming 92% of participants reported improvement on the Patient Global Impression of Change Scale. These findings suggest that resonant breathing could indeed play a valuable role in ameliorating the symptoms of Long COVID.

The Resonant Breathing Protocol

Now, let's take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of the resonant breathing protocol employed in the study. Participants underwent a progressive 4-week resonant breathing program, utilizing a 4:6 (inspiratory:expiratory) second cadence. They were instructed to engage in the exercises twice a day for five days a week, gradually increasing the session length from 10 minutes to 30 minutes by the end of week four. Additionally, participants were encouraged to continue the program for 12 weeks and beyond as part of their broader Long COVID treatment plan.

Embracing Resonant Breathing as a Treatment Option

In conclusion, the study's findings underscore the potential of resonant breathing as a valuable addition to the treatment arsenal for Long COVID. Its ability to improve self-reported symptoms and wellbeing in individuals grappling with the lingering effects of COVID-19 is indeed promising. By offering a gentle yet effective approach to enhancing autonomic function, resonant breathing could pave the way for a more holistic and natural means of addressing the challenges posed by Long COVID.

So, there you have it, folks! Resonant breathing, with its simple yet profound impact, opens up new avenues for individuals navigating the complexities of Long COVID. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of this condition, the potential of natural interventions like resonant breathing shines brightly on the horizon.

What are your thoughts on this intriguing study? Feel free to share your insights in the comments below!


Citation: Jessica Polizzi et al., “Resonant Breathing Improves Self-Reported Symptoms and Wellbeing in People with Long COVID,” March 26, 2024, https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.03.25.24304856.

Glossary

  • Resonant Breathing: Resonant breathing is a breathing technique that involves breathing at a specific rhythm to regulate the autonomic nervous system activity, potentially alleviating symptoms associated with autonomic dysfunction. It typically entails a 4:6 (inspiratory:expiratory) second cadence and is designed to enhance homeostatic control of blood pressure and heart rate, alongside increasing parasympathetic activation.

  • Long COVID: Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is a condition that affects individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. It is characterized by persistent and debilitating symptoms such as post-exertional malaise, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and more.

  • Autonomic Dysfunction: Autonomic dysfunction involves dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, leading to symptoms such as dysautonomia, which includes abnormal activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

  • Dysautonomia: Dysautonomia is a condition involving dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, leading to symptoms such as abnormal heart rate, blood pressure fluctuations, and impaired temperature regulation.

  • Homeostatic Control: Homeostatic control refers to the body's ability to maintain stable internal conditions, such as blood pressure and heart rate, in response to changes in the external environment.

  • Parasympathetic Activation: Parasympathetic activation refers to the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for activities that occur when the body is at rest, such as digestion and relaxation.

  • Retrospective Analysis: Retrospective analysis involves reviewing and analyzing past data or events to gain insights and draw conclusions about a particular subject or study.

  • Cadence: Cadence refers to the rhythm or sequence of a particular activity, such as the timing of breathing in resonant breathing exercises.